05/12/11 1921 Treaty – available on line from tomorrow – 90 years to the day of its signing – Minister Deenihan
The ‘Articles of Agreement for a Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland’ were signed by both delegations at 2.15am on the morning of 6th December, 1921. An ultimatum was delivered by Lloyd George to the delegates in which they were faced with the option of either signing the text of the Treaty as it stood or refusing to sign and face the consequence of an immediate resumption of war.
From tomorrow – Tuesday 6th December, 2011 – some 90 years later, to the day – this Treaty document will be made available on line for all to access. The treaty has never before been made available to the public either in its original form or online.
The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 is probably THE seminal document of the Irish Free State, which in turn evolved into the Republic of Ireland. This exhibition is an historic one, covering, as it does the events of 1921 which had such a profound impact on the early years of our Statehood.
Speaking on the eve of the Treaty going on line Minister Deenihan said “the Irish delegation had travelled to London in October that year and after weeks of negotiations they were faced with a very stark reality – a choice of returning to Dublin and a resumption of war or the signing of the Treaty. Irrespective of your political persuasions, this exhibition has no bias and no agenda. It is simply an excellent opportunity for the public to see, not only the Treaty itself but the papers leading up to the signing of the Treaty. As a former teacher of History myself, I know the value of material like this being made widely available. My hope is that this exhibition will bring to life the story of the establishment of the Irish Republic to a much wider audience than before.”